March 3 2022

Japanese household expenditure rises

Highlights from JapanConsuming monthly report

News and Analysis on Japanese retailing and consumers

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March 2022 Issue

Household expenditure increases in 2021 and more of it online

The latest figures show that, even though incomes fell for the first time in five years in 2021, average monthly household expenditure recovered and then accelerated at the end of the year. Online spending grew significantly, and much of this was new growth.

Editorial: Getting closer to the consumer

Seven & I sells Oshman’s to ABC Mart

In a clear sign that it is beginning to tackle its legacy operations – and even review the businesses developed by its founder, Masatoshi Ito – Seven & I has confirmed that it will sell the Oshman’s Japan sports retailer to ABC Mart.

Omnichannel accelerates in fashion: 40% of EC sales from staff blogging

As reported in last month’s focus, Japanese e-commerce is developing fast but shops remain important and are likely to stay that way. Retailers recognise this and are getting much better at integrating online and offline stores by using their key strength: an army of skilled sales staff to sell to customers online. As a result, many of the top retailers now see as much as 40% of online sales from shop staff blogs.

Aeon Mall looks to experiences to get people into its properties 

Japan has seen a large drop off in new mall developments in recent years. This is partly due to a dwindling supply of viable locations but also because of competition from e-commerce. To make malls more relevant, Aeon Mall is shifting to a more localised approach with a broader range of services.

Workman to open in Ginza, launches Workman Shoes and more suits

Workman has consolidated its position as a leading domestic outdoor/sports casual retailer in the last two years. Growth has been less dramatic but it has developed more infrastructure and brand foundations for what it hopes will be the next big expansion. So far so good.

Donki back with a plan

PPI is Japan’s largest discount retailer but also a major GMS operator. It is on track to achieve consolidated sales around ¥1.87 trillion by the end of the year, 85% of this in Japan. After a tough time during the pandemic, sales began to improve again at the end of 2021.

LINE Gift: the next stage

LINE Gift has doubled its user base to 20 million in a year but isn’t content with this. It has only just integrated with Zozo and Yahoo Shopping and expects these new partners, as well as its first TV ad campaigns, to deliver a major increase in user numbers again this year.

Ecbeing surpasses ¥600 billion

If Ecbeing were a marketplace, it would be the fifth biggest online mall in Japan. Its comprehensive package of shopfront and fulfilment services makes it close to a marketplace and the company continues to add new merchants, big and small.

Onward: moving to showroom stores and click & collect by 2024

Onward is proving adept at moving sales online even as its turnover drops dramatically as it restructures and slashes old stores – some 1,700 stores in two years. It now wants to integrate the remaining stores better with online and targets 50% of sales from e-commerce within three years.

Daimaru plans more showroom stores

Showrooming stores are slowly gaining traction but, for department stores, the retail-as-a-service model isn’t so far from their existing role as property managers. Daimaru Tokyo is seeing positive feedback from its version of the B8ta concept and now plans a chain of such stores within J Front buildings – just as B8ta in the US announced plans to close all its stores.

Quick Commerce and unmanned stores changing convenience 

As JC has been tracking in recent months, the market for rapid home delivery of FMCG and food is hotting up, with much of the action at convenience stores. The CVS sector was one of the hardest hit by the pandemic and recovery is only just beginning to happen as people gradually return to work, but with a network of 56,000 stores nationwide, there is a clear opportunity to use these stores as supply points. CVS retailers are also expanding mini unmanned stores, taking the store to the customer.

Supermarkets expand dark stores

Just as is happening in convenience stores, supermarkets are also looking to take advantage of demand online. Given the high costs of delivery and relatively low and unstable order values, dark stores are likely to become a key tool for those more committed to online sales.


Subscription retailing goes mainstream

Although subscription consumption was already becoming popular before the pandemic, as familiarity with managing monthly payments for products and services have grown, sign up rates have surged since 2020. Consumers sought more delivery-based solutions for everything from furniture rentals to monthly deliveries of treats such as luxury chocolates. As the sector grows more mainstream, more platforms are emerging to facilitate both set up and marketing, and more diverse subscriptions are launching to target specific niches.


United Arrows expects worse results

Goop comes to Japan

Asics back above ¥400 billion

Aeon introduces more private label furniture

Retail bankruptcies fall 30% in 2021

Isetan closes Isetan Salone Marunouchi

Look sees uplift in fashion sales

LVMH Japan and Softbank partner on digital

Toyota Tsusho signs more fashion brands

Kimuratan to close 210 of its 220 stores

Golf Digest up 17%

Mercari deepens ties with NTT Docomo

Rakuten launches NFT marketplace

Izakaya operators still suffering

Mitsui Fudosan up on better tenant trading

WWS launches golf suits

Ebisu Garden Place gets a relaunch

OK Super removes third of Kao products

DCM to acquire X-Price

Kao sees 30% of domestic sales online

Top conbini chains trial joint store deliveries

Matsuzakaya Shizuoka begins renewal

Sugi and Scroll agree tie-up

Retail Data: Department stores continue recovery

Companies and Brands in this Issue

Adastria, 1
Aeon, 4–6
Air Closet, 17
Akachan Honpo, 4
Alpen, 4
Although Topvalu, 5
Amazon, 13
Android, 8
Aoyama Shoji, 17
Asahi Kasei, 5
Askul, 1, 12
B8ta, 11
Bad Ramen, 15
Bic Camera, 16
Burberry, 16
Camelove, 16
Cawachi Yakuhin, 1
Chanel, 16
Coen, 3
Colowide, 9
Coop Kobe, 13
Cycloop, 16
Daiei, 4
Daiki, 11
Daimaru, 1, 11
Dalloyau Paris, 17
DCM, 11
Delonghi, 18
Demaekan, 12
Diaguard, 7
Don Quijote, 5, 8
DoorDash, 12
Dream Meat, 18
Dyson, 17
Eatpick, 18
Ebook Japan, 9
Ecbeing, 1, 10
Familymart, 12–13
Farm8, 16
Favy, 18
Food Panda, 12
Foodable, 18
Genky, 1
Go Pro, 16
Godiva, 17
Golf Digest, 8, 17
Goop, 3–4
Hankyu, 1
Holubar, 6
Homac, 11
Honma Golf, 10
Il Bisonte, 6
Isetan, 1, 5–6
Itochu Shoji, 8
Joinus, 19
Jun, 16, 19
Kahma, 11
Kao, 10
Karitoke, 17
Kidsrobe, 17
Kimuratan, 7–8
Komehyo, 6
Komeri, 1
Koret, 6
Kutoon, 17
Lardini, 7
Lawson, 12–13
Laxus, 17
Loft, 4
Look Holdings, 6
Marimekko, 6
Marui, 11
Megan Super, 17
Mercari, 8, 10
Miki House, 13
Mitsui Fudosan, 9–10, 18
Mitsukoshi, 1, 5–6
Molton Brown, 12
Muji, 1, 5, 17
Narumiya International, 16
Netflix, 15
Nishimatsuya Chain, 1, 13
Nissen, 4
Oasis Stylewear, 10
Onitsuka Tiger, 4
Onward Holdings, 10
OPA, 18
Parco, 11
Pearly Gates, 13
Plaza, 6
Poplar, 12–13
Rakuten, 8, 11–12
Ralph Lauren, 13
Rentio Rentio, 18
Roomba, 18
Sake Post, 16
Sapporo Fudosan, 10
Seria, 5
Seven Eleven, 4, 9, 12
Shimachu, 11
Shimamura, 1, 6
Slowfast, 17
Snow Peak, 7
SoftBank, 7
Staff Start, 4, 10
Stone Island, 7
Subsc One, 16
Subsclamp, 16
Subsclife, 17–18
Subsku, 18
Subsphere, 16
Sugi, 13
Takashimaya, 1
Taobao, 10
Teerex, 17
Teijin Frontier, 7
Topvalu, 5
Toy Sub, 15
Toyota Tsusho, 7
Tsutaya, 5
Uber Eats, 12
UCC, 17
Unicharm, 17
Uniqlo, 1, 5
United Arrows, 1, 3
Uny, 8
Wego, 17
Wolt, 12
Workman, 1, 6–7, 10
Xebio, 4
Yahoo Shopping, 9–10
Yamabuki, 10
Yaoko, 13
Zoff, 10
Zozo, 9
Zuora, 16


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